After I boarded a bus around the University of Ghana, Legon, I clearly remember telling the bus conductor, “please I would alight at spanner junction but I don’t know where it is so kindly alert me when the car gets there. Thank you and please don’t forget”. When I got to my destination and alighted from the bus I asked a stranger how I could get to the other side of the road, a place slightly opposite the Accra Mall.
It never crossed my mind at that moment that perhaps I needed a footbridge to get across. The place was so big; there were so many infrastructures to look at. I say this because I am not really an outdoor person and being at that part of Accra for the first time made Accra seem like a continent on its own. The stranger kindly pointed to a footbridge that I could use to get across safely. It was the first time I used a footbridge. It is clear that though I didn’t see a footbridge at first and it never crossed my mind that perhaps I would need one but at least my common sense prevented me from crossing that vast land of road on foot.
On Thursday, 8th November, 2018, I received and read quite a number of stories saying that angry residents block road after yet another accident. The head teacher of West African Senior High School [WASS] disclosed that in 2018 alone, six students had been knocked down. Demonstration went on after that incident with residents claiming that government have paid death ears to their constant demand for the completion of the footbridge. Residents blocked the road leading to Dodowa, Adenta Housing Down etc. Then later news came in that a contractor is to resume work on the footbridge in three months on the Madina-Adenta highway. Then I don’t know what changed their initial intentions for the residents of Madina-Adenta highway to be patient for at least three months for work to begin but it reduced to the following week and now work has indeed started .
Police arrested the driver who knocked down the WASS student and Mr. President has expressed his condolence to the bereaved but what will it do? He should express that to the family of the other equally important lives lost on that road that year alone and it will still do nothing until the needful is done; completing those footbridges.
The clearest problem here is lack of footbridges for the residents to cross the road but I see other issues here too; the president blamed the Adenta accidents on decades of neglect , lack of continuity when there is a change of government, improper maintenance of public property, and a malignant rate of irresponsibility on the part of citizens. I am guilty too. Maybe not in relation to the issue at hand at the moment but perhaps in ways I am even yet to realize and in ways that have unfortunately become a habit.
Could the land of Ghana be a shrine where the leaders are the chief priest and priestesses? They wait for the blood to pour on the land (shrine) before the gods (selfish desires and hidden agendum) gives way for what has to be done to be finally done. Suddenly the streetlights are all working on the Adenta-Madina road. Power pass power ampa; Obiaa wɔ ne master!
Do the people of Adenta and the so called advocates need a footbridge or a change of mind? I say this because when you watch places that have footbridges and completed in perfect conditions, people still ‘sensibly’ cross the highway on foot. There is this pathetic instance caught on camera where the human beings crossed the highway on foot while the animals used the footbridge. So I ask again if the people need a bridge or they do need a change of mind first? If the contractor completes the project today, for how long will they use it before they gradually stop and resort to the path that once killed them?
I am not against the existence and completion of footbridges in Ghana at large. We want them. They are very necessary but we need a change of mind first. When the bridges are fixed and more are built, it won’t give us back the souls already departed but how sure are we that the ones alive will still have their own lives? Perhaps the advocate should start ‘actvocating’ among residents to actually use the footbridge they went on a demonstration for when it is completed.
The Photographer of Thoughts
Fb: Mercy Aba Blankson
Twitter: @aba radical
IG: Aba Radical
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